Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the spice saffron. The smell evokes so many childhood memories for me that I love to cook with it just to take a trip down memory lane. When I was charged with creating this recipe as part of The Cookbook Club earlier this month I was excited.
The marinade sounded simple to create and included some of my favourite flavours and the end result did not disappoint. I chose to create kebab’s with this chicken to make it easy for sharing in a semi-public space but I would equally make this dish as a quick bake marinade that can be tucked in the oven and ready to go for dinner in minutes. I found the method described a little laborious so I adapted it to make it more simple to what I imagined it could be like. I don’t think the changes affected the final flavour, they were just perhaps a little less glamorous in its creation.
The end dish was subtle in its flavour, but delicious and delicate. Served with jewelled rice and baked vegetable dishes as part of the book club it was a perfect accompaniement and stood out as a jewel on the table. A dish to impress in its appearance and flavour.
Saffron and Lemon Chicken
* sourced from Persian by Sabrina Ghayour
- 4 onions cut in half and thinly sliced into half moons
- juice of 5 lemons
- 4 tabl sp olive oil
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 400g Greek yoghurt
- 3 tbl sp crushed sea salt
- generous pinch of saffron
- 3 tbl sp. boiling water
- 6 large skinless chicken breakfast, cut into 5cm cubes
Using a mortar and pestle, grind the saffron strands into a powder and then pour into the boiling water and allow to infuse for about 5 minutes.
Into a bowl or freezer bag combine the onions, lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric, yoghurt and sea salt. Add the chicken and mix well to coat the chicken. Add the saffron water and mix thoroughly. Marinate overnight.
Once the chicken is ready to cook pre-heat your oven to 180c or your grill to the highest setting possible. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Remove the chicken from the marinade using tongs or a slotted spoon and lay out o the baking tray. Cook for approx 20 minutes or until the pieces of chicken have a slightly charred edge but remain moist on the inside.
Serve the chicken warm with flour tortilla wraps or basmati rice with a little salad and plain greek yoghurt.
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